Inside Business

Households are more confident in their spending budgets – but there’s a sting in the tail

Consumers have got good at economising, according to Barclaycard, but soaring utility bills look set to restrain spending further, writes James Moore

Tuesday 07 February 2023 09:28 GMT
Barclaycard says consumers are feeling more confident in managing their household budgets
Barclaycard says consumers are feeling more confident in managing their household budgets (PA)

Wait, there’s some optimism to start the week? No, I haven’t been drinking the Liz Truss Kool-Aid. If I had, this would be a column about pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows (there’s a song and take my advice, don’t look it up). But there is at least Barclaycard. It’s regular spending data, which also takes a look at the consumers’ view of their ability to manage their household budgets, shows that confidence in household finances is at 63 per cent. That is the highest level since July 2022.

Britons – at least the majority of them – appear surprisingly upbeat about their ability to live within their means even with inflation eating away at their wages. Counterintuitive? The result of it being just one poll? Possibly. On the other hand, there has been a deluge of personal finance advice in the news of late. Martin Lewis – he of MoneySavingExpert fame – must have found a way to clone himself because it seems impossible to turn on a news bulletin without him turning up with a bevy of advice.

Thing is, while Lewis isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, this does work. Truss once kiboshed just about the only good idea I think Jacob Rees-Mogg has ever had – the launch of a public information campaign to help people save energy, on the grounds that it was an example of the “nanny state” or some other such ideological rubbish. But those campaigns can be highly effective. This could be seen as evidence of that.

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